CHELSEA and Liverpool are both reportedly preparing to battle it out for Southampton star Romeo Lavia.
The 19-year-old joined the Saints from Manchester City last summer for £14million.
The midfielder has shone on the South Coast during his 33 appearances despite Southampton being relegated from the Premier League.
Those displays also brought international recognition with Lavia winning his first Belgian cap earlier this year.
With Euro 2024 on the horizon, Lavia is unlikely to want to drop down into the Championship with Saints and seems one of the players certain to leave St Mary’s once the transfer window re-opens.
The Times claim that Southampton see him as “their most valuable asset” as they plot a rebuild and are likely to demand at least £40m for him.
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And they also state that both Chelsea and Liverpool are in the running to sign him.
However, despite a clause that says he can be brought back to the Etihad if Man City match any bid made for him, his former club are not believed to be keen.
Jurgen Klopp is planning his own overhaul at Liverpool over the coming months with long-serving stars such as James Milner and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain due to depart Anfield with replacements needed.
Meanwhile, Chelsea’s director of recruitment Joe Shields signed Lavia for Southampton before he made the switch to Stamford Bridge.
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And this update claims he is after the ace again – although he has allegedly struggled to convince everyone at the club to make the move.
Chelsea reportedly sent scouts to watch Lavia against Brighton last weekend but the final decision is likely to come down to incoming boss Mauricio Pochettino.
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